The judge and the media

Most people will never visit a court during their lifetime. What they know about judges and courts is what they read in newspapers and on social media. Realizing this, the importance of finding good ways to communicate with the public through the media, is of great importance for any judiciary.

If the judges contribute to an open and clear discussion, the public trust in the judiciary may increase. The value of openness to the media was the main topic of a two day workshop in Ramallah this month for nearly 20 Palestinian judges from all judicial levels, ranging from the Magistrate and First instance courts to the High Court. EUPOL COPPS, which has been supporting the Palestinian Judiciary since 2009, organized the workshop together with the Palestinian Judicial Institute with the support of the Swedish Court Administration.

During the workshop, the importance of writing well-structures judgements in a clear and understandable language was addressed by Justice Mari Anderson from the Supreme Administrative Court in Sweden.
The judgement is the basic document for explaining the work of the judge. If the judgements are easily accessible and the reasoning is written in a clear and plain language, it makes it easier for both parties, media and the public, to understand the work of the judge.

The attendees were also introduced by Judge Martin Weyler of the Solna District Court, to new approaches in dealing with the media in an open way in an attempt to win the trust of the public. Judge Martin Weyler is a long standing member of the Media Group in the Swedish Judiciary, consisting of several judges with different specialities, always available to answer questions from the media. The tendency to increase the level of public trust by promoting judges to discuss both their work in general as well as specific cases with journalist and media, is taken up by judiciaries worldwide.

Top Photo:  The two Swedish expert and the deputy head of the Rule of Law Section sharing their views on the relationship between judges and the media during a session that was held at the Palestinian Judicial Centre. 
Bottom Photo: The topic being discussed have ignited an interesting discussion among the judges,